Thiel Is 'Funding' Hulk’s Gawker Case

Peter Thiel, the eccentric cofounder of PayPal and an early financial backer of Facebook, privately agreed to foot the bill for pro wrestler Hulk Hogan’s lawsuits against Gawker Media, according to a report from The New York Times and Forbes, citing people familiar with the arrangement. Thiel, a libertarian billionaire who has advocated that kids skip college and also serves as a delegate for Donald Trump in California, has a history of skirmishes with the gossip website. In 2007, a Gawker report outed Thiel as gay, which he is now open about; in turn, Thiel once referred to the website’s tech-gossip Valleywag vertical as “the al Qaeda of Silicon Valley.” In a New York Times interview published Tuesday, Gawker owner Nick Denton said he believed a Silicon Valley investor was supporting the legal actions. Hulk Hogan, who won a $140 million verdict against Gawker in March in a privacy case, has never disclosed a financial relationship with Thiel. Both have declined to comment. Gawker is appealing the ruling on First Amendment grounds.